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Thread: Whirlwind vs Fw190

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    Default Whirlwind vs Fw190

    Good evening Gents.

    I'm hoping that one or more of you may be able to help in answering the following questions I have re Eddie Musgrave's combat against a Fw190A-4 of 8./JG 26 on January 28th 1943.

    Before asking my questions, here is what I have so far:

    28th January 1943
    Low clouds restricted flying. The Third Gruppe were scrambled from Wevelgem shortly after 1100 as several enemy aircraft were reported headed toward the base. The base was indeed attacked – by a single No. 137 Squadron Whirlwind, piloted by an Australian, B. L. Musgrave. Only one pair of Fw 190s was in a possible position to intercept. Uffz. Heinrich Wälter had to attack from beneath but overshot, and passed in front of the Whirlwind. Reacting by instinct, Musgrave fired a quick burst from the Whirlwind’s four 20-mm nose cannon; the Focke-Wulf was hit and dived straight into the ground. The Australian pilot made good his escape in the clouds, but had no idea that he had hit the German aircraft, and filed no claim. The outcome of his combat, and the identification of his victim, only became known as a result of recent research.

    Wälter was flying Fw 190A-4, WNr. 5622 ‘Black 2’
    He crashed between Dadizeale and Beselaere at about 11:08 am.
    (I believe that Uffz. Heinrich Wälter was buried at Bourdon (France) 32/8/135)

    Source:
    The JG 26 War Diary, Volume Two 1943 – 1945
    By Don Caldwell
    Page 21



    14th August 1941
    Whilst climbing to try and intercept the aircraft of Circus 73, Ogfr. Heinrich Wälter and the other pilots of III/JG 26 were intercepted by the Spitfires of 315 Squadron (306 Squadron) escorting the Blenheims Wälter was flying Bf 109F-4 WNr. 7126 was hit and injured and had to bail out.

    Source:
    The JG 26 War Diary, Volume One 1939 – 1942
    By Don Caldwell
    Pages 165-167


    It also appears possible (from a source on the web that I forgot to copy the url and can longer find!) that Wälter flew against the Swordfish that tried to attack the Sharnhorst and Gneisenau on 12th February 1942. His claim was not confirmed.

    137 Squadron’s ORB recorded the following:
    28th January 1943

    P7005, F/O J.L. DeHoux 1035 - 1125, on a Rhubarb, found a goods train pulling out of a station. 6 miles south of Bergues. He gave the engine a 4 second burst of cannon, observing strikes, and then dropped 2 x 250lb bombs on it from 50’. On looking back, he saw a big cloud of steam coming from the engine.

    P7058, F/O E.L. Musgrave 1035 - 1140, on a similar trip, dropped 2 x 250lb bombs from 100’ on a goods train 1 mile south west of Tielt, and then attacked twice with cannon, leaving the engine enveloped in steam. Whilst pulling away from the second attack, 2 Fw.190’s were sighted about 800 yards away. 1 fired 2 bursts at F/O Musgrave, and then pulled into cloud. F/O Musgrave got in a short burst from 300 yards, using 2 rings deflection at the enemy aircraft before getting into cloud himself and returning to Base.

    According to Eddie Musgrave's combat report I believe that it was Uffz. Heinrich Wälter whose Fw190 fired at him.

    Now for my questions.

    Question 1
    Does anyone know, or can help me find out, who was flying as Wälter's wingman this day, and which Fw190 they were flying? Caldwell's JG26 War Diary is the only reference I have, and the information I'm after isn't there.

    Question 2
    Does anyone have a transcript of the Fighter Command diaries for this day so that I can fit in the Rhubarbs etc flown by other RAF squadron's with those flown by Musgrave and DeHoux? I want to see if III/JG26 were scrambled just to meet them (Eddie), or if there were other aircraft nearby.

    (Note that Musgrave and DeHoux had no intention of attacking the airfield at Wevelgem as recorded in the JG26 War Diary)

    Question 3
    How could I find out if there is a surviving copy of the German account of this combat?

    Question 4
    How could I find out a more exact location of where Wälter's Fw190 crashed after diving into the ground? I'm hoping to use Eddie's combat report and anything gained from the Luftwaffe records to piece together the combat portion of Eddie's Rhubarb mission on this day.

    Question 5
    Is anyone familiar with the cemetery at Bourdon, and if so how could I obtain a photograph of his gravestone?

    Question 6
    Is it possible to obtain a copy of Uffz. Heinrich Wälter service record? If so, what the hows/costs etc please?

    Question 7
    I would also be interested to learn more about the other two incidents mentioned above involving Uffz. Heinrich Wälter. Are any of you able to help with this?

    As always, thank you all in advance for your help.

    Paul

  2. #2
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    Default

    You should be able to purchase a copy of a photo of the grave here:
    http://twgpp.org/
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Thanks for that Dennis

    Just did a quick search and no joy, they do not have it in their database yet.

    Paul

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    Sorry, I didn't read the message properly, thought you were referring to an RAF pilot,
    contact the VDK and ask them if they can supply, might as well start with the people who run the cemetery.
    www.volksbund.de

    Nachname: Wälter
    Vorname: Heinrich
    Dienstgrad: Unteroffizier
    Geburtsdatum: 01.01.1920
    Geburtsort: Lauterbach
    Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 28.01.1943
    Todes-/Vermisstenort: Dadizeele-Bekelare


    Heinrich Wälter ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Bourdon (Frankreich) .
    Endgrablage: Block 32 Reihe 8 Grab 315

    http://www.volksbund.de/kgs/stadt.asp?stadt=11
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hi Paul,

    Tony Wood's Combat Claims & Casualties list for that day in 1943 records:-

    R.A.F. Fighter Command Summary of Activity (Day). 10 Rhubarbs conducted in areas between Normandy and Holland, locomotives and rail-cars attacked.
    Luftwaffe Activity (Day/Night) At 11.22 hrs., 4 FW 190s flew over Rye at low-level, proceeded to Battle, returned over Bexhill. Bombs damaged Bexhill gas-works with a few casualties....At 15.15 hrs., Ju 88 operated in Southwold area, later shot-down by 2 Spitfires.

    Hope you're keeping dry down there in Melbourne!

    Jeff

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    Thanks for your help Dennis & Jeff.

    Melbourne's been ok so far and the sky this morning is a rich blue colour with 29oC for the forecast. I hope it stays this way for a couple of days to help the country towns dry out.

    Paul

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